Ferrari View: Do not over react to changing conditions

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

A Formula 1 car is a temperamental beast at the best of times, but getting one set up properly for the Hungaroring uses up a lot of brain power.

On a Friday, with changing weather conditions and an improving track, getting the cars in shape is like doing a crossword puzzle: it doesn’t matter if the “Across” answer seems correct, if it does not line up with the “Down” solution.

That was definitely the case today and although the Ferrari crew can only really know what its own cars are doing, you only had to watch the TV screens to see that, throughout the length of the pit lane, teams were facing similar conundrums.

Essentially, the two conflicting factors here are that, as more and more laps are completed, not just by the Formula 1 cars but also by those in the support races, the very dirty and green track surface gradually cleans up and provides more grip.

However, at the same time, during the day the temperature rises – the track exceeded 50 degrees this afternoon – which had a negative effect, mainly on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds on offer this weekend.

The engineering “trick” is not to over react to the changing conditions, but to estimate where the track will be for Qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s Race. That’s no easy task either as it’s meant to get cooler and will possibly even be wet on Sunday.

For the record, Fernando Alonso completed 49 laps today and ended up fourth fastest, behind the inevitable pace-setting Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, doing ten laps more than his team-mate, with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen keeping the two Prancing Horse apart. (Ferrari)